here wiggo here wiggo – was one of the summer’s chants as bradley wiggins managed to move effortlessly from national sporting hero to national treasure over the course of a blinding summer of sport. along with his sideburns bradley wiggins triumphed in the tour de france and followed that up with an olympic gold.
take that you dope fiends.
hats off to him.
summer has gone and sport has returned to its usual fare of football, football and more football.
the success that cycling enjoyed over the summer had a positive knock on effect to the population at large: more of us are using the bike.
add to that the ‘boris bike’ scheme and cycling is even easier in london.
however i am not one of those who have taken to pedal power. i would be shit on a bike; i have enough problems not bumping into things when i am walking so lawks knows what i would be like on a bike. so i don’t saddle up. that said i love the idea of lots of other people cycling. fewer cars would make london a much better place to walk around.
on the face of it i am pro bikes.
another reason why i avoid cycling is the constant stream of stories about how dangerous it is to ride a bike in the city and how motorists just don’t pay enough attention to what the cyclist is doing. there has been an increase in the number of accidents that have occurred to bike users.
just to prove he is mortal even bradley wiggins has been knocked off his bike by the bad habits of a driver.
cue the calls to do something to make cycling safer.
across the road from me is a ghost bike, it indicates that someone has died in an accident, so i should be sympathetic to the cyclist cause.
i am not.
why? i can hear some of you ask.
simply because cyclists seem to do themselves no favours, quite a few of them appear to be accidents waiting to happen – they all vie for the winning of a darwin award.
i live near two very busy main roads. one of the more dangerous aspects of crossing these roads are the cyclists who decide to bomb down them without much care and attention to what is going on around them. it is even worse at night as cyclists appear out of nowhere without warning because they can’t be arsed to have a front or rear light or wear a hi-viz top – most of them dress like ninjas so that they can blend into the night. all of them get shirty when something comes close to them.
at least they are cycling on the road.
the real cycle scum are those who decide that their very large bike is going to be ridden on the pavement, through crowds and if the crowd happens to slow them down they will curse and tut – but they will never go to the street. or there are the billy whizzers who zip in and out of pedestrians. pretty much all pavement using cyclists go without lights and hi-viz gear.
frankly if you are going to be a nuisance and if you are not going to take proper safety precautions then i don’t have sympathy with or for you.
when it comes to reporting cycle injuries and deaths there are some things that i would want to see in the report: was the cyclist wearing a helmet? was the cyclist in hi-viz gear (or even brightly coloured clothing)? did the cyclist have two working lights that could be easily seen? answer no to any of them and perhaps the blame isn’t so easy to apportion to drivers.
it may seem harsh, but if it gets the message across to a few more people that they need to be responsible for themselves when they get on a bike then i think you will agree with me that i am being quite sensible.